Tips for Painting Miniatures with a Limited Palette – Loot Studios

Tips for Painting Miniatures with a Limited Palette

I See Your True Colors, and They Don’t Need to Be Many

So you got your brushes, your minis, and a few paints. But the vídeo tutorial you saw uses a almost-midnight-but-a-few-shades-darker color. You don’t have that specific one, you never thought you would need it. You are painting miniatures with a limited palette, but you want your model to look as cool as the one in the video. Is that even possible? Let’s find out. 

Less Paint Doesn’t Have to Mean Few Tones

We learned in school how primary colors can be mixed to create news ones. That might sound obvious, but we tend to forget the basics when we have a packed solution. Not only is it possible to create new colors, but with a little bit of white or black, we can achieve whole new tones of the same colors. Diluting the colors leads to some gradients that can look really cool. And if you harmonize them correctly, two or three colors can create something great and impressive. You can learn more about that using our color theory guide.

painting miniatures with a limited color palette
Masked Caster, from Loot Studios’ Voracious Sands.

It’s a Challenge, and that Can Be Fun

So you are low on some of your favorite colors but really up for some miniature painting. But your budget is not enough, or the stores are closed, or you just can’t wait. Well, let’s get to painting. Using what you have at your disposal can lead to some interesting stuff. Your goblins are traditionally green and you are out of that color. Well, palette swap them! You new blue goblins are another kind of them. The limited color palette can be a gift, and a new way to look past the obvious.

A Gourmet Limited Color Palette: Less Is More

In cooking shows, like Masterchef, it’s common to hear people use this phrase “Less is more, this dish is too confusing”. Like the child that has been gifted a box of crayons, we sometimes go overboard on colors. We wanna use every single one we bought, and there’s nothing wrong about that. But is that the only way to do it? When you think about some kinds of art, the colors used are iconic. The yellows, the blues, the greens. Famous painters like Picasso became known for one single color in some of their productive eras. Exploring everything a limited palette can do is a great way to learn more about each color. And it also gives you a kind of timestamp. “That ogre was painted in my gray phase. That orc was painted when my red phase, and my orc obsession collided.” 

painting miniatures with a limited color palette
Priest of Slumber, from Loot Studios’ Curse of Torpor.

Pulp It Up

There was a time, believe or not, depending on your age, when TV was black and white. A lot of pulp and noir-themed movies, games and series still reproduce that. Black and white (and more than fifty shades of gray) is very interesting and kinda chic. Not only snarky gumshoes stay classy and handsome in black and white. A beautiful gray power ranger, a black and white firefighter, an albino vampire in white silk. All those possibilities may sound a little silly, but why not? In the end, painting miniatures with a limited palette will force you to use your creativity. They are your minis, and they can be as unique as you want, and it’s not the amount of colors that will change that.

Loot Studios can help you paint highly detailed minis, statues and props. Choose your favorite bundle from our previous releases or sign up for Fantasy or Sci-Fi to receive a new bundle every month. You can also check out some tips at our YouTube Channel.

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